Carers Trust calls for more support for all family carers after boost for carers in Scotland

  • Carers Trust welcomes doubling of Carer’s Allowance Supplement in Scotland

  • And calls for similar support to be extended to all family carers in UK

  • This supplement in Scotland comes at same time as all UK family carers on Universal Credit hit hard by the £20 uplift cut

The Scottish Parliament unanimously approved a double winter payment (total £462.80) of the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Unpaid carers in Scotland in receipt of Carer’s Allowance receive an additional supplement payment every six months. The additional payment of more than £230 will benefit 91,000 unpaid family carers in Scotland.

And, according to a press release issued by the Scottish Government, it “means that this year carers in Scotland will get £694.20 more in support than carers in the rest of the UK.”

Social Security Minister in Scotland, Ben Macpherson, said that the additional payment in Scotland, is being made “in recognition of the role carers play in society” and “the additional pressures [on them] caused by the pandemic”.

Carers Trust’s Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs, Joe Levenson, welcomed news of the increase in support for unpaid carers in Scotland, and called for similar support to be shown to unpaid family carers everywhere:

“Unpaid family carers play an essential role in supporting family and friends. And never more so than during the lockdown when local services shut and carers had to take on additional tasks and care for even longer hours to look after people staying at home to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

“So we very much welcome recognition of this in Scotland and call for similar support to be extended to family carers everywhere in the UK. There has been no increase there to Carer’s Allowance of just £67.60 a week for carers caring a minimum of 35 hours a week. They will be struggling even more now with food and energy prices set to rise, and with the £20 uplift to Universal Credit having been cut for the 330,000 unpaid carers who receive the Carer Element of Universal Credit. That £20 a week makes a huge difference to anyone on Universal Credit, let alone those unpaid carers looking after a family member with additional needs.

“At a minimum, unpaid carers across the UK should surely all receive the same levels of financial support. Carers tell us that Carer’s Allowance isn’t enough, so for those carers in England and Wales also losing their temporary £20, this feels like a double blow. That’s why are urging the Westminster government to think again about scrapping the uplift to Universal Credit and also to give carers on Carer’s Allowance an uplift equivalent to what is being offered to carers in Scotland.”

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